August 1, 2006 | Post Archive
All sorts of atrocities have been committed against children, and the plight of Oxana Malaya of the Ukraine is certainly the result of one such atrocity. Last month the Telegraph ran a story on Malaya, a 23-year-old woman who spent her formative years living among a pack of dogs and exhibits many canine behaviors such as barking and walking on all fours. Malaya is what's known as a feral child, also commonly known as a "wild child" or "wolf child."
The article tells how Malaya became a feral child:
The article goes on to explain that there is, unfortunately, no official documentation of when Malaya was discovered by authorities. Information about that time remains purely anecdotal, so it's difficult to accurately determine the circumstances – how often Malaya returned to the house or ate the dogs’ scraps, et cetera. Such a lack of documentation certainly leaves room for skeptics to do what they do best. But the fact remains that nobody can do anything but speculate. What we do know is how Malaya lives and operates in the world today, which is evidence of her severe neglect (whatever form that actually took).
Oxana Malaya now lives in a home for mentally disabled patients. The institution is in part a farm where Malaya takes care of the cows. Because of the severe neglect she experienced in her formative years, Malaya has a stunted intellectual capacity equivalent to that of a 6-year-old. According to the telegraph, there are only 100 known cases of feral children in the world. But from my vantage point, that even one could exist is absolutely shocking. (link via Boing Boing)